Royals-Orioles Preview

AP - Sports

Manny Machado isn't taking long to settle into the big leagues and make an impact on the Baltimore Orioles.

After homering twice in just his second game, Machado has given himself a tough act to follow Saturday night when he and the Orioles continue their series against the Kansas City Royals.

Baltimore purchased the contract of Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, Thursday. He went 2 for 4 with a triple in his debut against Kansas City later that night.

His second game was even more impressive, as the 20-year-old infielder became the youngest player in Orioles history to homer twice in a game - a solo shot in the fifth inning and a three-run blast in the sixth - and led Baltimore to a 7-1 win.

"It's two games. He's off to a good start," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's hit some mistakes and hit them well, which guys have to do up here. He'll have the kitchen sink thrown at him and we'll see how it goes. But so far, so good."

Machado's four RBIs provided more than enough support for rookie starter Miguel Gonzalez, who went eight innings while giving up a solo homer to Salvador Perez. Baltimore has won six of seven and currently holds one of the AL's two wild-card spots.

While Machado has made a quick impact on the Orioles (61-52), it has taken a little longer for Chris Tillman (5-1, 2.38 ERA) to provide results.

Tillman, in his fourth season with the Orioles, had won seven games his previous three years combined but has now won four consecutive starts. He took a shutout into the eighth inning against Seattle on Monday before giving up one run in a 3-1 victory.

"It feels good," Tillman said. "I feel like I put a lot of work in in the offseason and carried it into the season and spring training and what not. I feel like it's starting to pay off here.''

Tillman is 0-1 in two career starts against the Royals, giving up 11 runs and 17 hits over 8 1-3 innings.

Friday's loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Kansas City (48-64). The top four in its lineup went hitless with six strikeouts. Billy Butler went 0 for 4 after recording three hits - all for extra bases - on Thursday.

Kansas City will hand the ball to Luis Mendoza (5-8, 4.36), who has posted a 5.40 ERA while losing his last three road starts. The right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss at Chicago on Monday.

Mendoza hasn't started against the Orioles since 2008, when he surrendered five runs and six hits in three innings of a 9-1 loss while with Texas.

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